In the same week the BBC comedy department commissioned a second series of the abysmal Citizen Khan, we are treated to a sketch show called "Dawson Bros. Funtime." Unusual to see a full stop in the middle of a programme title, but this is the least of its problems.
Being a big fan of the broken comedy genre I tuned in eagerly, and was immediately greeted by a send-up of Facebook. I rubbed my eyes, thinking that I must be hallucinating. Wasn't it a little late to be satirising Facebook? Six or seven years late? Social networks may have been legitimate targets for cutting edge comedy in 2007, but in 2012? Even more unbelievably, they OPENED with it.
I took a deep breath and ploughed on. The Sherlock Holmes sketch was a funny idea but way too long. An iPad designed exclusively for horses momentarily changed the shape of my long face. But the item that followed, featuring Jenny Bede and Cariad Lloyd, lamely pretending to upstage each other as presenters, looked for all the world like a couple of self-conscious sixth-formers performing in an end of term review show. The sort of show where you sit at the back, so that you can creep out without anyone noticing and go to the pub – returning at the end to go backstage and tell everyone how marvelous they were.
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I like Mike Wozniak. I have laughed at him many times in Edinburgh. I can't, however, really work out what he is doing in this show, and I don't think he can either. I have no idea who Chris Kendall is. I assume he was cast because he looks like a member of a boy band, and that Funtime are hoping to attract teenage girls in order to boost its audience.
I tried. I really, really tried to keep watching. But after 10 minutes, curled into a ball, hiding my face behind my hands, my gag reflex became so strong that I was literally forced to switch channels. I felt embarrassed for the cast, I felt embarrassed for the writers and I felt embarrassed for myself.
This morning, feeling that I'd been a little unfair for not sticking it out to the end, I Googled The Dawson Brothers and noted that the stand-out writing credits on their CV are series 6 of Total Wipeout and series 4 of Take Me Out. Since I also loathe both of those shows with a vengeance, I now feel a little less guilty for so quickly consigning Funtime to the comedy recycle bin.
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